Coming Up with the Chic Reign Logo

Coming up with the Chic Reign logo was a bit of a journey. When the idea to create my own business came about, my first thought was “what will my company be called? and what will the logo look like?” It was challenging to say the least, literally every name we chose was unavailable. After weeks of brainstorming, we came up with Chic Reign. Our objective was for our customers to easily identify what the brand was all about: chic and sustainable luxury for the modern woman.

As I was working to bring my vision for the brand to life,  I came across a golden ring in the shape of a ram while on a family vacation. I loved it, but sadly I didn’t buy it. My husband fell in love with another ring that was a vintage piece and to my surprise bought it for me right then and there.

A month later as I was strolling the aisles of Target, I saw another golden ram. Being an Aries, I thought it would be cute to hang up over my window. Undecided on whether it really complimented the décor I chose for the office, I returned it.

I began working with a brand developer on the company branding. It was fun to play around with ideas but choosing which direction to go was difficult. I was putting my heart and soul into this business. I wanted the logo to be meaningful in its reflection of the Chic Reign brand.

I always follow my instincts and listen to my intuition. In life, recurring signs present themselves and it’s up to us to notice them.

As we spent several weeks researching different symbols and meanings, I shared ideas with my husband and members of my staff. The symbol of the ram came up again and then I realized, this was not the first time it had presented itself. This time, I took it as a sign and decided to go with it.

The symbolic meanings of the ram are:

  • Power
  • Force
  • Drive
  • Energy
  • Fearlessness

Through my research I found that a ram appearing in your path holds the reins of a new cycle of personal power opening for you. That’s exactly what I’d been going through. The ram is the spirit animal of new beginnings, determination, action, and initiative. I was finally following my intuition and taking the path meant for me.

So, why is the ram so significant to me?

This symbol is significant to me because of how perfectly it describes the woman I have created all of this for.

“She was a wild, wicked slip of a girl. She burned too bright for this world.”

EMILY BRONTE

The Chic Reign woman is confident and fierce, courageously creating and pursuing her own opportunities.

The ram also brings a natural element to the brand representing our focus on sustainability. In the end, my brand developer was able to work her magic and create a brand mark that exceeded our expectations.

Dress for success in every sense of the word. Become a Chic Reign woman.

Let’s be unmistakably chic!

diana alvarez signature

The Art of Dressing. 7 Ways to Elevate Your Individual Style

The Art of Dressing is the essential meaning that clothing expresses basic human feelings. The expression of such feelings can change overtime. Nevertheless, it is important to respect the power of clothing. It is a communication medium. It enables us to express our unique sense of style as well as giving us the ability to adapt to different identities.

Here are 7 ways to help elevate your individual style.

 

Freshly Pressed

 

 

Taking the extra time to steam or press your outfit makes all the difference. It will make you look polished and put together.

Get it Tailored

Although you’re excited to take a new purchase home and wear it, there’s nothing like a piece that fits perfectly. The final product will be elevated beyond its price tag and appear that it was made for you.

Give Color A Try

One of the first things we notice about someone is the color of what they are wearing. It is visually appealing and fun. As Van Gogh said, “Color expresses something by itself.”

Mix Pattern and Color

Play with patterns and scale to turn preppy favorites into an eclectic mashup. Use color as a common thread and neutral shoes or boots to ground your look. This will surely elevate your style to another level!

Play with Different Textures

 

 

When carefully paired, different textures can create exceptional combinations. Stay in the same color family or pull colors from a printed top or bottom to accentuate.

Dress up Denim

Just add heels for a chic look, pull it together with a bold blazer. Keep the silhouettes and washes classic.

 

Buy timeless, quality outerwear

Purchase coats in classic silhouettes and neutral colors like camel, navy or black.

In Pursuit of Chic

Pursuit of Chic

In the summer of 2015 upon finishing my last semester, I decided to take on a second internship. Unlike my previous one in NYC, this internship would be with a small startup company owned by a fellow designer located in Stroudsburg, PA. It was during my time there, that I felt inspired to create my own label. What was really stopping me?

Have you ever felt a pull deep inside for something greater?

I love autonomy and I knew that within me I had the courage to create my own opportunities.

“The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.”

AMELIA EARHART

The question at that moment was, where do I begin. I knew starting my own company would require a lot of work and sacrifice. But who’s scared of work when you love what you do? Am I right?

“Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.”

OPRAH

The truth is it takes more than passion to run your own business. You need to be prepared to work more than you ever had for someone else. I initially spent 90% of my time researching. In my mind, I was training for a marathon so I needed to be ready for what was ahead.

Being able to listen to and learn from the stories of other entrepreneurs helped me. It fascinates me to learn from people’s advice and struggles. I found it to be the motivation I needed to keep going.

After a few sleepless nights and hours brainstorming, trying to come up with a business plan, I realized I would need my own space where I could develop my first prototypes. I felt this was the best way to ensure I had full control of the creative process as well as the quality of the product.

I desperately needed structure and a place where I felt I could focus and build a team.

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”

LAO TZU

The completion of Chic Reign studio was a stepping stone in my continuous effort toward my goal. This was such an exciting time because I felt like my business was truly starting to take shape. I was fully in pursuit of my dream, Chic Reign.

Although it was only the beginning, I always reminded myself to be grateful for any progress that I made, no matter how insignificant it seemed. We must look at our progress in terms of how far we have come, rather than how far we have to go.

Just. Keep. Going.

Love endlessly,

diana alvarez signature

One of the Most Rewarding Experiences of My Life

I enrolled at Centenary University in the fall of 2013 as a full-time student. I look back at it as one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.

The first semester was very exciting, yet so overwhelming. As a creature of habit, I found myself repeating the previous pattern of my life. It took time for me to adjust to the lifestyle of a working student, mother and wife. I had to rearrange my priorities.

I needed to accept the sacrifices that had to be made. My goal was to graduate and I was determined to make that a reality.

By my second semester, I was staying at school until 8:30 or 9 at night. One of the biggest reasons why I was able to do this was through my husband’s support. By the time I got home my son was already fed and bathed, ready for me to read him his story.

I always had an interest in fashion but Centenary confirmed my love. I was learning how to create a collection and bring it from concept to development. I studied graphic design, retailing, textile science, merchandising etc. I had so much passion for something that I had no real experience with. It was amazing!

Drawing for fashion was my very first real artistic class. I was terrified, I didn’t think I had any drawing abilities, as many of you may relate. The truth is we all have an artist inside us. There are so many things that we think we can’t do until we try.

Learning a skill is as much of a mental game as an observational game. It just takes practice and patience. This is something I repeated to myself.

The truth of the matter is, sometimes we’re afraid.

“What if I fall? Oh, my darling, what if you fly?”

Although it was difficult and uncertain, life as a student was equally as exhilarating and unbelievably rewarding. The opportunity to immerse myself completely in something that I really wanted was one of the best experiences of my life.

I will forever treasure my time at Centenary. To my professors, and the girls half my age who made me feel like I belonged, I’m eternally grateful.

The best things that happen in our lives are the result of taking a chance. It’s better to look back at the risks you took with a smile rather than with regret for never having tried. No matter what the outcome may be, it will always be a rewarding experience and that is because the knowledge you are left with is priceless.

“To all the other dreamers out there, don’t ever stop or let the world’s negativity disenchant you or your spirit. If you surround yourself with love and the right people, anything is possible.”

Adam Green

How many times have we told ourselves we can’t do something, yet did it?
You can. End of story.

Love endlessly,

diana alvarez signature

The Making of Chic Reign Studio

Chic Reign studio is a wonderful dream come true! We have been working out of our headquarters for a few months now. It has been a delight. If you have ever worked from home you can understand the importance of being able to separate your work and home life. After working out of my living room for a few months I soon realized Chic Reign needed a place of its own. The renovation contained a few surprises that slowed things down. The foundation had to be fixed and a draining system put in place. Although there was a structure there, it had been deteriorated by years of flooding.

As you can see here, the studio was a plain slate, without insulation and walls.

The spacious open plan was a considered choice. I envisioned a studio, an office space, and a showroom. It would include everything we needed and provide the team with a beautiful work environment. We began moving all the sewing machines and equipment from my house to the studio and so it began.

The beauty of the space is that it had an upstairs loft on which I claimed dibs! (as my son would say) It was the perfect space for my office

There were 3 elements I knew I would include: lighting, color, and an elegantly modern feel.

I immediately knew I wanted it to have as much natural lighting as possible. We installed skylights and two windows. My desk faces the picture window, giving me a view of the gorgeous outdoors.

I used a modern color paint scheme on the walls and easy to maintain vintage French oak flooring. The fun part began when the renovations were completed: decorating!

I chose neutral pieces and used gold accents throughout Chic Reign’s studio. Color is brought into the space with art and a library. My office wall is covered in people whose lives were shaped around their outstanding creativity and talents. I hung up pictures of the masters of fashion and art: Balenciaga, Chanel, Alessandro Michele, and more. These are people who I desire to embody.

In a little over 4 months Chic Reign headquarters was established. The result is a glowing and intimate space where we work collectively at bringing our designs to life.

The Day I Realized I was Living Somebody Else’s Dream

The day I realized I was living somebody else’s dream, I made a conscious decision to take my life in a new direction and pursue that which truly made me happy: fashion. I set out to do whatever it took to reach my goal. I quit my day job and went back to school in my late thirties.

I know you’re thinking, girl are you crazy? You may call this a midlife crisis, but suddenly it became clear. I knew exactly what I had to do.

As Steve Jobs once said:

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”

This meant leaving the old Diana behind by parting with my fears and self-doubt as well as my previous career. By this point it had been a few years since I had been toying with the idea of going back to school, except this time it meant a career change to something I loved and had passion for. I needed to follow my dream.

It’s funny how sometimes we call quotes cliché, yet they can be so powerful that they can inspire something in you that can change the course of your life.

“The secret of happiness lies in a search for what proves to be an unknown destination.”

ROBERTO CAVALLI

Although at the time I put myself in a place of vulnerability…I’m sure you can relate. It gave me confidence to keep going further.

Facing my fears, I enrolled as a full-time student at Centenary University. On my first day, as tears streamed down my face, I felt an immense gratitude for the opportunity life had finally presented me with. It literally breathed new life into me.

Although the experience has been rewarding, there were moments in which I was overwhelmed and afraid. Insecurities rushed through my mind:

  • Was I going to be a good designer?
  • Would I be able to make a career out of this?
  • Was I being selfish for pursuing my dreams when I had to support my son?
  • Was I being a bad mother for now devoting my time to a new career?
  • What if this was all a waste of time?

Have you ever felt this way before? I’m here to tell you that you owe it to yourself to shut out the fear.

Don’t succumb to your thoughts. The human in you will always try to make you think otherwise.

“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”

ELEANOR ROOSEVELT

Us women are constantly faced with heavier pressures than men. This is not to say that there aren’t good men out there. However, as women we have more roles, societal pressures, and the constriction of time when it comes to things like motherhood. I want you to know that no matter where you are in life and how you start, all that matters is that you try.

Ladies, are you living the lives you’ve always dreamed of? If you answered no I want you to ask yourself, what’s stopping you?

Do something for you today. Follow your dream.

Love endlessly,

diana alvarez signature

Welcome to Diana’s Diary

welcome to diana's world featured image

Hello there. Welcome to my diary!

My name is Diana Alvarez and I’m the Creative Director of Chic Reign.

I was born in 1975 in Cali, Colombia, where I lived with both my parents until they got divorced 7 years later. In 1984 my mother left for the states in hopes of a better future. I didn’t know when I’d see her again.

Five years later on June 20,1989 I came to America. The language barrier proved to be difficult. I soon realized college was not in the foreseeable future.

My life today could not be any further from that.

I graduated from Centenary University with a Fine Arts degree with a concentration in Fashion Design. I have always been interested in fashion and the art of dressing up. However, life circumstances presented me with a different career choice.

In fact, for the last 20 years I worked in the dental field. Although I loved helping restore smiles, my passion lied elsewhere.

Through my husband’s encouragement I finally built up the guts to pursue a career in something I loved which meant fashion! I contemplated the pros and cons of the career transition I was about to make. In the end, I decided to follow my instincts. I enrolled at Centenary University in the Fall of 2013.

“Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear.”

George Adair

It was hard to step into the unknown. I spent the first semester on an emotional rollercoaster. Everything was scary and exciting at the same time. On my first day of class, I found myself inundated with an immense feeling of gratitude. As tears rolled down my face, I proudly walked to my first day of class.

“When I let go of what I am I become what I may be.”

Lau Tzu

My discovery of Diana, the designer began.

I’d love to personally invite you on my journey and follow along my diary as I navigate the roles of entrepreneurship and Creative Direction of Chic Reign. My desire is to empower, inspire and encourage women to live life to the fullest.

May this inspire you in your own journey, wherever it may lead.

Love endlessly,

diana alvarez signature

So, What’s Chic Reign All About?

what is chic reign all about featured image

Chic Reign is a feminine with an edge luxury womenswear brand.  Polished dresses and sophisticated separates in rich color palettes.  We are devoted to impeccable construction and quality pieces that endures season after season.  Our products are proudly manufactured in New York City. We are passionate about what we do. How do we know this?

Because we nourish a culture encouraging each employee to pursue the role that best encompasses their interests and strengths, while reminding them to have fun.

OUR CORE VALUES

  1. Conduct ourselves and communicate with kindness and respect for all.
  2. Focus joyfully on what is positive in others in working together toward a common goal.
  3. Be obsessively curious. We encourage a culture of creativity and collaboration
  4. Passionate pursuit of excellence in everything we do.
  5. Be customer centric and rely on customer feedback to improve and provide the utmost services.
  6. Demonstrate a responsible mindset in understanding the impact of our work on others and the planet.

 

Collaboration, diversity, the exchange of ideas and building on other people’s achievements are at the heart of the creative process at Chic Reign.

We invest our time, energy and love to create beautiful clothes that help women feel confident and chic. We do what we love for a living. This has never been about work. This is our lifestyle.

We spend countless hours learning to understand each individual part of our garment production. In the process, we create something we can proudly stand behind.

We are obsessive about all things beautiful, yet mindful of ethical practices. 

Our products are mainly made of natural fabrics and proudly manufactured in the USA.  

Providing quality products with impeccable construction, giving the utmost shopping experience and being mindful of our resources are our top priorities because where our product ends you begin.

This is Chic Reign